Heroines of Gendercide: The Religious Sensemaking of Rape and Abduction in Aramean, Assyrian and Chaldean Migrant Communities

Citation:

Mutlu-Numansen, Sofia, and Ringo Ossewaarde. 2015. “Heroines of Gendercide: The Religious Sensemaking of Rape and Abduction in Aramean, Assyrian and Chaldean Migrant Communities.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 428-442. 

Authors: Sofia Mutlu-Numansen, Ringo Ossewaarde

Abstract:

This study seeks to understand a diaspora community narrative of rape and abduction suffered during the genocidal massacre of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire and its aftermath. Based on interviews with 50 Aramean, Assyrian and Chaldean migrants in Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, whose families are from the village of Bote, known as one of the ‘killing fields’ in southeast Turkey, the article explores the ways in which descendants remember the ‘forgotten genocide’ of Aramean, Assyrian and Chaldean communities in 1915. The research reveals that the descendants of survivors make sense of the sexual violence experienced in Bote mainly through a religious narrative and that, for them, the genocide is, in spite of all the sufferings the males had to go through, a feminized event. In their gendercide narrative, the abducted and raped women are identified as the ‘heroines’ of the genocide.

Keywords: Armenian genocide, feminization, gendercide, migration, narrative, post-genocide, sexual violence

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, conflict, Genocide, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2015

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